Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 4; Symphony No. 6 (Pathétique)

COMPOSERS: Tchaikovsky
LABELS: Testament
WORKS: Symphony No. 4; Symphony No. 6 (Pathétique)
PERFORMER: Paris Conservatoire Orchestra/Erich Kleiber
The contrast between the Tchaikovsky Fourth here and in Paris the following year is fascinating: the Parisian sound has a rawness that sounds more Russian, especially in the wide vibrato in the wind and brass, and it makes you realise that Toscanini was a prime mover in the process that made orchestral perfection a goal which ironed out national characteristics. And Kleiber plays fast but not loose in the finale of the Pathétique: about the same length as Toscanini’s, but seeming far more expansive because of its flexibility.